Methane emissions are strongly reduced in lakes with anoxic bottom waters. But here – contrary to what has previously been assumed – methane removal is not due to archaea or anaerobic bacteria. A new study on Lake Cadagno in Canton Ticino shows that the microorganisms responsible are aerobic proteobacteria. The oxygen they require is produced in situ by photosynthetic algae.
Our energy supplies are in a state of fundamental flux, the primary challenges being to reduce our CO2 emissions and to move from fossil and nuclear energy sources to renewables. The automobile industry is, of course, also involved in this metamorphosis – in addition to the introduction of vehicles with new power trains, the supply of the appropriate fuels for them is of vital importance. Recently at Empa representatives from the political and financial fields, as well as the automobile industry and various areas of research showed how these challenges might be tackled
Switzerland aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% relative to 1990 levels by 2030. At least 30% of this reduction must be achieved within Switzerland itself. The rest may be attained through projects carried out abroad. These objectives were approved by the Federal Council in November 2014 as part of the definition of the negotiation mandate for the climate conference in Lima and are made public today. Switzerland will announce its commitment to reduce emissions by 50% to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Numerous metallic elements are regarded as "critical": on one hand, they play an ever more important role in so-called future technologies and on the other, there is a high risk of supply bottlenecks. Small and medium-sized companies are also affected by this, and they are often not sure which of these materials they are dependent on. At a "Technology Briefing" at Empa, strategies for the sustainable use of critical materials were presented and discussed.
The Federal Council announced today that it will nominate Professor Thomas Stocker from the University of Bern as a candidate for Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The term of office of the current IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri, is drawing to a close. The members of the IPCC are due to elect his successor in October 2015.